When it comes to skiing, Auli is probably the second most heard name in India after Gulmarg. But, what some of us don’t realize is that Auli is also a heaven for trekkers, regular backpackers and even families to just go chill amidst the mountains.
There wasn’t a single point in Auli, where I wasn’t awestruck with the beauty of this place. Not a single stroke of grass which made me question my existence, and not a single breeze that made me happier than I was in the moment before.
As I focus on ‘Responsible Travelling’ where we travel keeping in mind the social, cultural and environmental aspects of a society, I am back again with a detailed budget itinerary of Auli. Responsible Travelling is important to me and I believe in the fact that it generates economic as well as emotional benefits for the local host communities.
So, Let’s begin…
Day 1: Getting to Auli
Delhi is the nearest metro to Auli, so I will be assuming all travels from Delhi.
First up, you have to reach Rishikesh. Head out to Kashmere gate ISBT in Delhi, and get a Uttrakhand state transport bus to Rishikesh.
Suggestion: Take a late bus, around 9:00 pm
Distance: 242 km
Time taken in bus: 5-6 hours
Cost: ₹250 (keeps changing)
Now that you have reached Rishikesh, it’s time to head to Auli.
Day 2: Getting to Joshimath
Joshimath is a far out town in the Chamoli district of Uttrakhand which connects the world to the famous pilgrimages of Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib. You will have to start out early from Rishikesh in order to get a transport. Private buses run to Joshimath starting in the month of may, at intervals of 15-20 mins. They start at 4:00 am and continue till 6:00 am. The state transport bus leaves at sharp 5:30 am from Tihri Bus stand, Rishikesh.
In case you are going before May, you can easily get private buses to Karanprayag and Chamoli from where you can continue your journey to Joshimath.
Overview of GMVN rope-way
Distance from Rishikesh: 254 km
Time taken in bus: 10-12 hours
Cost: ₹400 to Joshimath, ₹250 to Chamoli
Suggestion: Avoid shared jeeps, your entire body will be jarred by the end of the ride
Now that you have reached Joshimath, it is time for our final destination, Auli. There are many ways in which we can reach Auli: the GMVN rope-way, the state bus and a cab.
Recommendation: The ROPE-WAY!!!! Treat yourself to some crazy views of the nearby landscape as you rummage through the forest on a cute and tiny cable car. In case you want to have lunch at Joshimath, I would recommend Food Plaza Auli D restaurant.
Cost: ₹750 for a round-trip, valid for a week.
On the rope-way
Bus timing: 5:30 pm, at the main bus chowk in Auli. The bus comes back in the morning at 4:30 from Auli to Haridwar. ₹20 for one ticket.
Cab: ₹300-400 one way. Distance is 16 km.
We are here! Auli. In winters, this place will welcome you with an outlandish amount of snow. But, you will not be able to find accommodation or even a ticket to the rope-way as people from all corners from the country come here to learn or do skiing.
Please note that May and June will be the busiest as nearby pilgrims will also visit Auli.
There are only two places to stay at Auli, unless you go all out ‘local’ and ask someone in the village to give you a bed in their home.
Sunset at Auli
Cliff Top Club: Private and expensive, you can book at major websites like makemytrip.
GMVN Guest house: ₹250 per bed in the dormitory. One dormitory contains 4 beds. The other rooms ranges from ₹1200-3500. GMVN guest house can be booked on their website or any government contact in Uttrakhand. (Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam)
View from GMVN guest house
Check in. Call it a day. I know your backs are hurting even thinking about such a long distance in the bus. Mine did too. 🙂
Day 3: Auli
Get up Early. Don’t eat the breakfast at the GMVN restaurant. Wait, I will tell you where to eat.
Now, Auli has 2 boarding platforms for the rope-way, number 8 and 10. You have to hike up to number 10. On the way, you will get to see the majestic, the gorgeous and the magnificent peak known as the Nanda Devi. It will take you 30-40 mins to reach number 10 platform. There is another GMVN canteen here, with relatively cheaper menu items. Enjoy your omelettes, maggi or toasts here.
Recommendation: Their Hot Chocolate! It’s a normal Cadbury one, but will taste insane after that long walk.
After Breakfast, hike up to Gorson Bugyal which is around 2-3 km. You will be greeted by an amazing forest trail, which leads you further up-to the lush and snowy meadow of Gorson. Spend some time here, in case you want to climb higher, you can summit the peak of Trichulli at Gorson top.
Nanda Devi, as observed from Auli
Please note that snow only remains till the month of April.
Come back to your guest house, walk around and spend the rest of the day waiting for the stars, and when they come, stare into the universe like it’s the first(not last) time you are doing that.
A lone flower, at Gorson top
Advanced trekking: Kuari Pass, Nanda Devi Sanctuary, Kalindi Khal and Pangarchulla Peak.
Heading back to Auli, from Tower 10
Day 4: Head back to Delhi
Well, spend as many days as you like in Auli, but in case you are heading back, follow the same way. Get the bus at 4:30 am, or a cab or the rope-way ticket you had. Reach Joshimath, and leave for Rishikesh.
Please note that the bus from Auli takes you directly to Rishikesh and Haridwar.
Trekking to Talli campsite, Enroute Kuari pass
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